It was a frustrating loss, one which looked winnable for sizable chunks of the game. There were definitely some head scratching moments by the Eagles, but also a lot of positives to take away from it. In the end BC lost not because they failed to move the ball on offense, but because they lacked the depth and defensive power to stick with a team like FSU. There were some major football recruits visiting this weekend, and you have to think that they left with a positive image of the direction of this program. Let's look at this week's installment of the good, bad and ugly.
The Entire First Quarter: Boston College came out and did everything they needed to do to start this game off right. They confused redshirt Jameis Winston with a series of blitzes that came from all over the field, they got the defense off the field on a quick three and out to start the game highlighted by a sack. The special teams came up big on the punt after a line drive punt allowed Spiffy Evans to run the ball back nearly 30 yards with great field position in FSU territory. Chase Rettig then proceeded to methodically drive down the field with a series of runs by Andre Williams, leading to a wide open C.J. Parsons on a play action pass for six points.
The Eagles gameplan continued to work to near perfection when they again forced a quick three and out, methodically ran the ball down the field and scored yet another touchdown this time on an out route by Jake Sinkovec. BC was doing everything right in the first quarter. They ran the ball effectively behind a front line that was dominating FSU's front, they were keeping Winston on the sideline, and best of all they were winning 17-3.
Andre Williams: The ACC's leading rusher had yet another great game for BC running for 140 yards, and seemingly always gets positive movement with the ball. He looked solid running inside, and especially impressive when he got outside, showing off some good speed on some very solid runs. For a BC team with few weapons, Andre Williams has been one of the most consistent and he embodies the physicality that Steve Addazio has preached to his team.
Myles Willis: Welcome to Chestnut Hill, Mr. Willis! The second half of the game was quite a show by the true freshman from Georgia. He had a huge run back on a kickoff return to start the second half which was much needed after the disastrous end of the first half. He showed great speed on the touchdown he scored on a wheel rout pass from Rettig and was a good change of pace back to the bruising runs of Andre Williams. I had predicted it earlier, but I always thought Willis would be on the two deep, and with Tajh Kimble MIA, I would put good money that the freshman will be a much more integral part of the BC offense.
The fact that BC never gave up: For the past four years BC fans have had to watch teams that were unprepared for a team like #8 FSU. Our opponents would usually come out firing, Spaz would look completely overwhelmed, we'd end up down, and then fall flat on our face after halftime due to a complete lack of adjustments. Credit where credit is due, Addazio had this group ready, and when they fell behind the Eagles never gave up. They continued to put up points, and kept this a game right until Chase Rettig threw his second interception of the game. Even if they didn't win, it was refreshing to watch them battle against a team that was clearly more talented.
C.J. Parsons / Brian Miller: The walk on tight end Parsons grabbed two touchdown catches both in the red zone, an area that I expected BC to struggle in. Showed good hands as well. Brian Miller on the other hand showed some good speed, while stretching plays out with some nice catches. Miller has battled injuries during his times at the Heights so it would good to see him be a contributor.
Jameis Winston: I usually keep opponents off this list, but credit where credit is due, this kid is something special. Great arm, made sound decisions, and never lost his composure. After the backlash of Johnny Manziel winning last year Winston may not win the Heisman this year, but he is going to be a household name by the end of this season.
Spiffy Evans: Still not contributing at all in the passing game, Evans finally emerged again on special teams. He brokes two punts back, setting up BC with great field position. Addazio has mentioned in press conferences before, but solid special teams is a huge factor for winning teams, and BC got that yesterday from Willis and Evans.
Alex Amidon: Everyone watching the game knows every pass was heading to him, yet he still ended up with seven receptions. That is pure skill right there. And some good offensive play calling by Ryan Day. I thought using him for screen passes was a great way to get him involved without having him blanketed by FSU defenders. Just having him out there, and running the screen pass also helped spring Myles Willis for his touchdown. It would be amazing to see what he would be capable of doing if he had someone else on the team that could be a legitimate target for Rettig.
Numerous different offensive looks: BC threw the kitchen sink at Florida State in this game. They ran pistol, shotgun, they ran the ball in power sets, they did everything you would want. I know some of you disagree, but the offensive play calling for the most part (minus the end of the 1st half) was solid all around.
A 3:30 start during parent's weekend: This was inexcusably bad scheduling by all parties involved. First off, BC should never play a marquee matchup like FSU on parent's weekend. Schedule an FCS game, or a team like Army, two teams that are not usually huge draws. Second of all, games can't be started this late on parent's weekend. Look I know it's not BC's fault that the game time was so late, but you saw the result of this poor scheduling. With it still being a two score game, half of Alumni Stadium had emptied out, most likely because many of the tickets were parents and students who had dinner reservations.
The "Other" Wide Outs: You can scheme it any way you want, but there is no one on this roster other than Alex Amidon that has shown that they are an ACC receiver so far. This group is struggling mightily and the side effects are clear to anyone watching the game. First off, almost all of Chase Rettig's sacks were coverage sacks, due mostly to the fact that none of the receivers could get open. Secondly, once FSU started to contain the run, they just stacked the box and double Amidon, knowing that Rettig was never going to throw it to any of the other receivers.
The fact that Ryan Day put together an offensive gameplan together that ended with four passing touchdowns, and 34 points against FSU, with no legit second wide receiver was a miracle. Going spread offense with multiple wide outs makes sense if you have the personnel to do it. Clearly BC does not, so they are going to have to commit to power running and some trickeration, both of which they did pretty well against the Noles.
Boston College's Depth At All Position: In one last final "FU" from Frank Spaziani he left the cupboard completely bare for this coaching staff. Sean McDonough must have said it five times last night that FSU was rolling out 6-8 defensive linemen throughout the game. BC barely has enough on the front line to start an ACC worthy line, and this lack of depth becomes apparent as the game progresses. Look at the USC/FSU game and you can see a pattern. BC stays in the game, but as their opponent continues to cycle in players at all positions, BC can't keep up, end up winded and tired and then start missing tackles and giving up major points. Coach Addazio has a lot of work on his hands in terms of adding depth to this team in the future if they want to stick with power house teams like FSU.
The Defensive Gameplan: I had no problem with the plan BC started the game with. They blitzed, showed different looks to Jameis Winston and confused the hell out of him. But as the game progressed, Winston started to get more comfortable, and yet BC continued to endlessly blitz. When BC couldn't get Winston to the ground the results were catastrophic. FSU receivers were left in single coverage, which if you had the talent wouldn't be the worst, but BC's secondary was completely overmatched.
The Secondary: Completely overmatched, this entire group gave up yards in giant globs once Winston got his feet under him. There were plays with broken coverage (the Hail Mary play), dumb penalties (Manny Asprilla's pass interference) and bad coverage all over the place. This group will get a reprieve next week against Army's triple option, but they better figure something out before they head to Death Valley.
The End Of The First Half: We all saw what happened, and it won't be something we soon forget. BC had the ball, after giving up two quick FSU touchdowns, and went uber conservative. But given what we just saw from the D, the thought process can be rationalized. Momentum was clearly with the Noles, BC's receivers were struggling to do anything, and the last thing Addazio wanted to do was give up a stupid turnover deep in their own territory. If Rettig lined up and tried to throw from Shotgun there were numerous negatives that could have happened. Strip sacks, fumbles, interceptions etc. Addazio played it safe and was burned on a Hail Mary pass, on a missed sack. Which leads me to...
The defense: The coverage was awful there, why the safeties both rolled to one side of the field is beyond me, and Spencer Rositano had no clue the pass was coming his way. Terrible coverage, and pretty inexcusable.
Mehdi Abdesmad's Injury: Boston College has been pretty fortunate this year to avoid major injuries to a very thin depth chart. However that may have all changed on Saturday. Abdesmad appeared to suffer a lower leg injury, one in which he was unable to put weight on as he tried to exit the field. No word has come out on the severity of the injury, but it looks like he will be missing some time. Kevin Kavalec, you're up.